Updated, 5:30 p.m.: With New Jersey’s 4-2 victory over Ottawa, the seventh seed — and a first-round meeting with the Bruins — is still a possibility for Washington. Check out the full scenarios after the jump.
Original post: The Capitals have clinched a playoff berth but who they will face in the first round will depend on the outcome of several contests Saturday, the final day of the NHL’s regular season. (The full slate of games can be found here.)
For those who may have missed it earlier, below is a breakdown of how Washington can finish in three different seeds by the time the day wraps up.
First, though, the games to keep an eye on in addition to Washington’s 6:30 p.m. matchup with the Eastern Conference leading New York Rangers: Ottawa at New Jersey at 3 p.m. and the Florida Panthers hosting Carolina at 7:30 p.m.
The Capitals finish in...
— Eighth place and will play the Rangers in the first round if they fail to capture two points against New York today.
— Third place and will play the New Jersey Devils in the first round if they win in New York AND Florida loses in regulation to the Hurricanes.
— Seventh place and will play the Boston Bruins in the first round if they win in New York, Florida captures at least a point against Carolina to clinch the Southeast AND the Senators lose in regulation to New Jersey.
If the Capitals end up facing either New York or Boston, it’s believed the series would begin on Thursday, April 12. Should Washington reach the third seed and have home ice advantage, it would likely begin the series against New Jersey on Wednesday April 11.
More on the Capitals:
— Tortorella doesn’t care about the Capitals
— Ward to play vs. Rangers; Knuble healthy scratch
— Introducing the shutdown ‘Wolfpack’
— Capitals travel to New York with seeding on the line
— On Hockey: Braden Holtby a solid Plan B for Caps
— Hamilton: Maybe it’s good that Caps had to fight for playoffs